What are some quotes of Lady Macbeth that show that she manipulates Macbeth?

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To see how Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth, take a look at act 1, scene 5. When Macbeth sends her a letter in which he details the prophecies, Lady Macbeth asks the spirits to fill her with "cruelty" so that she can manipulate Macbeth by transferring some of this cruelty (and ambition) to him:

Hie thee hither,

That I may pour my spirits in thine ear

And chastise with the valor of my tongue

All that impedes thee from the golden round.

In addition, later in this scene, she manipulates Macbeth by telling him that she will arrange everything for Duncan's murder. By doing this, she ensures that Macbeth cannot have a change of heart and call off the murder:

And you shall put

This night’s great business into my dispatch.

Finally, she manipulates Macbeth by questioning his sense of masculinity. This is shown clearly in act 1, scene 7, through the following quote:

Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?

And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely? 

By describing Macbeth as "green" and "pale," Lady Macbeth suggests that Macbeth is a coward, too afraid to take power from Duncan. This manipulation tactic is successful: Macbeth is keen to prove his masculinity and goes ahead with the murder.

gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are numerous statements from Lady Macbeth that show she is manipulating her husband, and indeed, doing so consciously. When she reads the letter from him in Act I, Scene V, as soon as she stops reading, she says the following:

" Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness(15)
To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great;"


She judges him too kind, and so, a few lines later, says " That I may pour my spirits in thine ear,"

In other words, she explicitly plans to manipulate him into grasping his fate.


Not much later (in Act I, Scene VII), she teases him when he hesitates, saying " Wouldst thou have that(45)
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would”
Like the poor cat i’ the adage?"

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Lady Macbeth is constantly questioning Macbeth's manhood every time he shows weakness. 

"What beast wasn't, then that made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man; And, to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man."

- She says when he dared to do the deed, he was a man. Now she questions him. She says that he will be more of a man if he does this deed. 

albomamii | Student

I dont remember the quotes right now but she question his manhood and calls him a coward,you can find most of the quotes on sparknotes.com just search Macbeth and it'll have all the acts and scenes translated for you in normal english.